Hunger Games

First, I have read Battle Royale (1999), a Japanese novel by Koushun Takami, where High School students were chosen and left in an island, to kill one another and a survivor is declared a winner. In the end, more than one person survived through the help of a former victor. They were forced to wear collars to be able to detect them and can be detonated when taken off. I don’t remember all the details, but they managed to survive despite the condition of having only one winner. The protagonists Shuya and Noriko fake their deaths as Shogo fires in the air, and in his experience, he was able to dismantle the collars and all together get to board the boat.  Both characters are on the run boarding a train at the end of the story. I was also able to watch the movie version of this novel, but didn’t watch the part two anymore which I was told that the participants all have weapons this time (guns if I remember it right).

Then I read The Lord of the Flies (1954) by William Golding, a sort of required reading and very much recommended in the literary circle. But upon reading it, I realized that I liked the Battle Royale better. In this book, boys were stuck in an island, portraying human nature that when left to fight for survival would drag out grave measures for survival. It’s set on the nuclear war time.

It’s been a long time since we watched movies in the cinema, until the showing of Hunger games which we watched with my niece and nephews. I have read the Hunger Games (2008) by Suzanne Collins but haven’t read the whole trilogy. It’s quite similar to Battle Royale which I read before that and that Japanese novel was captivating.

Hunger Games tackles the poorest districts in the country where they pick out two representatives for each district from 1 to 12. The higher the number of the district, the poorer it is in ranking. The first and second districts are trained to kill leaving out any emotions, and they have a lot of resources for their people. The poorer districts have to fend for themselves, learn to hunt to provide for family, or they could exchange bread for their names to be added on the roll where representatives are drawn every year. Upon entering the island, chaos starts and the hunt begins. Spectators watch the live airing of the hunger games and participants can earn sponsors depending on their performance or capacity to enchant the audiences. In the end, two winners won despite the rules of the game having only one victor. They showed how the tides can turn and people could do something otherwise expected of them.

I like the production of the movie, which they were able to portray the essence of the book. Except for the shaky parts that quite dizzying, the film version was quite good. My nephew remarked that it’s unfair how the organizers of the game manipulate the hunt itself and help kill off the participants, planting monsters in the middle of the forest, shooting fires to lead the characters nearer to each other so that there would be progress in their show. After watching the film, I might read the Catching Fire and Mocking Jay when I find the time.


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